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万锦冰球馆项目幕后真相(二)
THE SECRET ARENA REPORTS: WHAT WE WERE NEVER TOLD (II)

揭露万锦市体育馆项目所带来的巨大负面影响的顾问报告在过去一直被深深隐藏,秘而不宣。随着该份耗费纳税人$70万元资金撰写的报告终于得见天日,Bob Mok在其系列专栏文章中详细披露了体育馆项目所存在的种种问题。
A consultant report that exposes a huge downside to the Markham Arena Project was kept as secret from the public over the past. As the report finally sees the light of day, Bob Mok’s serial column gives detailed account of problems with the project that cost $700,000 from citizens.
 
本文为该系列文章的第二篇,读者欲参照前文可点击:
This is the second in a series of articles on this topic. For the first article, please visit the link - http://096.ca/news/631468
 
 
 
Humphreys教授撰写的报告明确指出被少报/忽略的建筑成本,以及融资和投资问题。据估计,体育馆的建筑总成本高达$4.16亿元,而不是当局所说的$3.20亿元。

A report from Professor Humphreys identified understated/Excluded Construction Costs, as well as Financing and Investment Problems. The total construction costs was estimated at $416 million not $320 million as we were told. 

 
据报告称,相关建筑公司在成本估算过程中忽略了$4200万已确定的基础设施成本,而这笔费用将由万锦市府支付。此外,投资方无需向万锦市府缴纳(房产)税。

It was reported that the construction firm excluded $42 million of identified infrastructure costs from the cost estimates, which would have to be paid for by Markham. No (property) tax payments were to be paid to Markham by the investors.

 
体育馆议案所导致的债务将给万锦市府带来沉重的年度现金流负担,致使万锦市面临重大金融风险,并缺乏足够财政保障。此外,提议的协议未对优先留置权和止赎权作出明确规定。市府也未曾对投资集团的金融资质进行认真评估。

The debt under the Proposal would place significant annual cash flow burden on Markham and carries significant risks. In the proposed agreements, first lien and foreclosure right were absent. Due diligence on the financial qualification of the investor group was absent as well. 

 
报告还披露了其他营运资金融资问题,包括不确定是否能吸引常驻冰联球队,租恁费设置太低,租约条款未能充分保护万锦市的即时或长期经济利益等。

Other Operational Financing Problems were also identified. These included the uncertainty surrounding the lack of a major league tenant. The Lease payments were set too low and the terms of the lease did not sufficiently protect the immediate or the long-term financial interests of Markham.

 
万锦市府在名为《探索性经济效应分析》的演示文稿中所作的有形经济效益预测因为 “未有提供任何支持性文件”,而遭到Humphreys教授的狠批。Humphreys教授称,“从北美其他城市过去30年的经济绩效来看,建造新体育馆不会给城市带来任何有形经济效益。”

Markham’s forecasts of expected tangible economic benefits contained in the PowerPoint presentation entitled 'Exploratory Economic Impact Analysis' were heavily criticized by Professor Humphreys for providing "No supporting documentation." He stated that “Based on the economic performance in other cities in North America over the last 30 years, building a new arena did not generate any tangible economic benefits for cities.”

 
虽然万锦市府声称在国家体育馆建成后,俄亥俄州哥伦布市的房价翻了12倍,但Humphreys教授表示自己从未听说过此类研究,而他所作的研究显示哥市房价只上涨了10%。

While Markham claimed that property values increased 12 times in Columbus Ohio after Nationwide Arena was built, Professor Humphreys stated that he was not aware of any such study and his own research showed only a 10% increase. 

 
万锦市府对常驻青少年冰球队能带来的观众人数和门票收入的预测似乎“非常雄心勃勃”,基于其他体育馆的平均上座率,它预测每场比赛均可以吸引5000名观众。但Humphreys教授认为更加务实的预测应该是最初每场比赛能吸引3500名观众,之后平均观众人数会逐步降至3000人,而这比万锦市府预测的年度观众人数整整少了7.2万人。

The projections for attendance and ticket revenues for a Junior Hockey tenant appeared to be "very ambitious" at 5000 per game based on average attendance elsewhere. Humphreys suggested a number of 3500 per game initially before dropping to an average of 3000 as being more realistic, reducing projected attendance by 72,000 annually. 

 
 万民问责市府大联盟(MCCRG)的理事以及许多关心此事的居民当初也曾就体育馆经济效益分别开展研究 ,并得出一些与该领域专家Humphreys教授相同的结论,而有些研究方法也与教授所采用的方案相同。

MCCRG's directors and many concerned residents did their own research on the economics of arenas at the time and managed to come up with some of these same points and even some of the methods used by Professor Humphreys who has immense knowledge in this area.

 
万锦市的纳税人为这些顾问报告买单耗费$70多万元,很显然,如果这些报告现在可以公开,那它们在当初居民呼声最强烈之时就更应该公诸于众。在资讯自由和隐私保护委员会看来,万锦市府拒绝公开顾问报告的理由显然不足以采信。在经过多年的抗争后,市府终于被迫遵照该委员会的裁定公开相关报告。

The taxpayers of Markham paid over $700,000 for these reports and it is clear that if they can be released now, they should have been released back when they were most needed. The reasoning that the City used for not releasing the reports was obviously not good enough for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Commission and, in the end, after years of protesting, the City was required to release the reports in order to comply with the Commission's decisions. 

 
由于万锦市府不愿倾听居民的合理需求,而居民希望市府能够更加积极地回应民众关切,MCCRG ( www.MCCRG.org )在反对体育馆项目的呼声中应运而生。此后,MCCRG便一直代表居民利益行事,监督市议会议程,调研重要问题,并对市府工作人员和市议会所作的看似不可能符合万锦居民最佳利益的决策提出质询。

The struggle over the arena gave birth to MCCRG ( www.MCCRG.org ). Markham wasn't listening to the legitimate concerns of the residents and they wanted them to be more responsive. Since then, MCCRG has continued to work on the residents’ behalf, monitoring Council agendas, investigating issues of importance, and questioning decisions of staff and Council where those decisions might not seem to be in the best interests of the residents of our City. 

 

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